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Government, Politics & Issues

Illinois lawmakers: School funding stalemate nearing an end

School Illustration
File | Illustration by Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio
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Illinois' legislative leaders have reached a tentative agreement in the state's school funding fight, they said Thursday afternoon, but added that the details are still being worked out. 

The state has missed two payments to public schools since Gov. Bruce Rauner used an amendatory veto on the original school funding plan, which was meant to be more equitable. 

Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, R-Westchester, said in a statement that there's "agreement in principle," but that the wording won't be released until "drafts have been reviewed."

Democratic leaders Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan, both of Chicago, also issued a statement that read there's an "agreement in concept."

WBEZ reports that the sides have been discussing a way to raise Chicago's property taxes and creating a new program to use taxpayer money for private-school scholarships.

The four are expected to meet again in Springfield on Sunday, a day before the House convenes. 

There's wide agreement that Illinois' 20-year-old school funding formula is unfair. But Democrats and Republicans have disagreed over fixes.

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